Day 3: Chilling out at Kathmandu

Last night we had a great time enjoying our Team Dinner in a nice local restaurant at the touristic Thamel district in Kathmandu, with plenty of beer and red wine. After that I had few more beers at the Cortyard Hotel, which has a gorgeous garden beautifully decorated and illuminated, the perfect place to scape from the noisy streets of Kathmandu. I finished the day with a glass of whiskey in my comfy suite. Unfortunately the Hotel gets quite busy these days, and we only have reserved two nights, meaning that we have to move from these luxurious rooms into basic ones, and sharing with someone from the Team.

I’ve got quite lucky since my designated roommate is Ole, a very nice guy from Denmark. He is becoming quite popular these days, since he is running amazing challenges all around the World. He just run 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days, isn’t that amazing?! Before that he crossed El Estrecho de Gibraltar in Spain very early in the season, with freezing temperatures, setting a mark of 4.5h and being the first doing it this season, almost a month before the second one. He also cycled Lake Titikaka in Peru and now he is ready to climb Mt Everest. He does not consider himself a mountaineer, because he has only climbed one peak in all his life, and what a peak, Mt Manaslu in Nepal!

He climbed it with Phil and some of the Altitude Junkies going to Everest this time.

This morning I’ve got a FB msg from someone who follows my FB page (Upto8000m) and we have a common friend, Francisco Jose Garcia Romo, the President of the Spanish Mountaineers with Cancer. The message was a bit socking I should say. Mikel just lost his brother Marc in a traffic accident three days back, and he is writing me to ask if I can bring a photo of his brother to Everest. Marc was a passionate climber and his family is planning to take his ashes to the top of the mountains he used to climb. Marc wanted to climb Everest one day, and now I have the mission to take his photo with some words from his family to the Top of the World. What a beautiful ask… I feel so honored and touched by the suffering of this family who just lost a loved one… Mikel and I had a phone conversation last year when I was looking for form a team to climb Passu Peak in Pakistan. We never met after that, and he just knew about my big climb because Jose made a mention on his FB wall. World is so small… Mikel and his family have to climb the biggest mountain this days, I hope they recover from the lost soon. Rest in peace Marc, we’ll climb this one together and get as far as we can.

Jose is a good friend of mine and every time I visit Madrid I go the shop where he works selling outdoor and climbing gear, and we talk about our projects and have good laugh. I love what his is doing with the AEAC (Asociacion Espanola de Alpinistas con Cancer), and I love his passion for the beautiful big mountains in the Pamirs. Every year he guides small groups to Peak Lenin, Pobeda and Khan Tengri. Few weeks before I left to Kathmandu I visited him in his shop in Ribera de Curtidores (he works there off season), and he told me about climbing Pobeda with a friend, nothing commercial, just a romantic climb. He was diagnosed kidney cancer when he was going through a medical check up right before starting his first expedition to that Peak, so coming back and climb it means a lot to him. Since I arrived to Kathmandu I keep thinking on my recent unsuccessful climb of Khan Tengri and my desire to come back soon. There are thousands of peaks to be climbed, but right now my dream is to climb Peak Pobeda and Khan Tengri both in the same season. It’s kind of funny that I’m thinking on that now that I have such a big task ahead, but that is me, always dreams and setting up new plans…

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